Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



A Photovoltaic (PV) cell is a device which converts light incident upon it to electric current. The push for green energy due to global warming and diminution of fossil fuels opens up a huge market for PV cells. Hence, a lot of interest is being garnered for using PV cells for various applications. However, a PV module's performance degrades due to many anomalies such as failure of individual PV cell within a module, the opening of interconnection, a short circuit in the connection, failure of bypass diode, failure in voltage regulator or partial shading. To some extent all of these issues can be addressed by introducing a transistor as a switch in a PV module. This kind of architecture also enables the PV module to switch between high voltage with low current or high current with low voltage. Moreover, such architecture is handy when PV modules are deployed at remote locations where manual intervention in the case of fault or power management becomes too expensive or impossible. With advancements in semiconductor processing, the MOSFET switches can now be integrated with a PV cell for improved reliability. In this research project, we introduced addressable switches for PV cell that enable the creation of real-time reconfigurable power buses or power island. Moreover, for PV module deployed at a remote location, we have installed an architecture that let the PV module self-detect faulty PV cells or partial shading condition. Such algorithms detect faulty PV cells or PV cells under partial shading within the module such that the performance of the PV module does not become degraded. The algorithms actively use an embedded computing device to predict the output power based on a number of PV cells connected in series and parallel; then the computed power is compared with the measured power for faulty condition detection. Typically, for achieving such kind of computing architecture a single-diode based PV module modeling technique is used. However, all of these modeling techniques have an exponential term due to the presence of a diode, the computing of output power and performance of PV module becomes power intensive and it is difficult to implement on an embedded system. Also, due to the presence of the exponential term, there is no closed form solution for IPV versus VPV (output current of PV cell versus output voltage of a PV cell). We have introduced a PV module modeling using an N-channel MOSFET transistor that doesn't have an exponential term. Moreover, a quadratic equation based solution is obtained that can be solved for calculating the load current. Using the same technique PV module can be also be modeled for various configuration. Additionally, with MOSFET based PV cells modeling enables the modeling CMOS-with-PV which is also presented in this work.


Photovoltaics, MOSFET, CMOS, Hot spot, Fault tolerance, Resilience, Reconfigurable


Graduate studies office, University of New Mexico

Document Type




Degree Name

Computer Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Lavrova, Olga

Second Committee Member

Graham, Edward Jr

Third Committee Member

Saqib, Fareena